Keep it natural, baby.
Franco wanted to get experimental and he rang his friends at his friendly US importer to ask if they would be interested in blindly buying all of his first experiment. Having full faith in Franco's skills given his impressive catalog it was an easy answer. 'Proefkonyn' is the Afrikaans term for 'guinea pig' and representative of the experimental nature of this side-brand of Lourens Family. For the first iteration Franco used a bit of fruit from the 35-year-old vine Chenin on the Paardeberg which is a parcel of the 'Lindi Carien' blend. Going a bit Jurgen/Stompie he sought to really show the intensity of the site via extended skin maceration. There will be future releases under the guinea pig moniker.
The grapes were hand-harvested overnight and placed into small lug boxes then brought back to the winery where they were carefully destemmed but not crushed. The grapes were then placed into a single small one ton fermenter where spontaneous fermentation occurred. The grapes were broken up by foot on the second day and from that point forward it was simply wetting the cap to keep the ferment going and protect the wine once dry. After three weeks the wine was pressed to a single 500L neutral French demi-muid with the full gross lees. After nine months the wine was bottled directly from barrel without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.
Marigold in color. An enticing nose of flowers before citrus and yellow peach before base notes of a salty note. Intensely flavored but refreshing to boot, notes of kumquat and a resiny tone emerge. There is a bit of grip, but less than one would think with three weeks on skins.
Franco is the assistant winemaker for Chris Alheit and the wines he makes from Chris’s cellar in Hemel-en-Aarde follow a similar path of old-vine complexity and masterly finesse. From his two single-vineyard Steens (Chenin Blancs) to his Rhone red and white blends these are impressive bottlings by any standard. Another New Wave SA star is born.
Katie and Denny
Your friendly neighborhood wine shop, focused on small production, organic and biodynamic, natural wines. Connect with us on Instagram for suggestions on your next bottle and to follow along in our downtown Lafayette wine journey.
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210 E. Vermilion Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
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Friday & Saturday
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